I am used to seeing birds there and hardly noticed the large flock busily rooting around in the muck under the tree. One bird fluttered down landing in a spot of sun that had managed to pop through the tangled mess of the untended branches. I looked at it and did not recognize it. Damn. I pride myself in knowing the various animals that inhabit my region of the planet. I took some quick pictures so I could identify these pretty birds later when I got home.
Turns out I had good reason to not know these avian travelers. They are about 1500 miles from their normal stomping grounds. They are Bohemian Waxwings and supposedly they do not travel much further east than Idaho.
I am no hard core bird watcher, but I do like to keep track of the various birds that come close enough for me to see. It is a true pleasure when I spot a bird I have never seen before.
I wondered why this flock was so far from the western climes they normally hang in. I had some guesses, but none of them seemed to make sense. I tried looking it up. I guess I just was not using the right key words. I came out with nothing about why they may be east of Gish. I did find out though, Bohemian Waxwings are not threatened. Their populations are healthy and they seem able to coexist with us filthy humans.
Some things do not need explaining. Some things should just be enjoyed while they happen and catching a glimpse of this very pretty bird is one. I won't read any climatic reason into their appearance so far east. I won't assume human environmental travesties have caused them to range further than they usually do. I will just enjoy their company while they are in town.